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The annual EAEA Grundtvig Award 2020

EAEA Grundtvig Award2020

Digital Success for our European Project DCCS

Highly Commended

EAEA 2020 Grundtvig competition

International recognition for 2 members of the Richmond Business Network. edEUcation Ltd lead by Paul Harrison (you may know him as part of Berber Leather they have just opened a physical shop in Richmond North Yorkshire ) and A1 Community Works Crabtree Hall Business centre project co-ordinator partnered with Les Cultures ONLUS in Italy, A & A Emphasys Interactive Solutions Limited in Cyprus and Wismar Bildungsgesellschaft gemeinnutzige GmbH in Germany in an adult learning Erasmus+ project called Digital Champions for Community Success. The project has been highly commended in the Grundtvig Award 2020.

The "Digital Champions for Community Success" is an Erasmus+ project bringing together five partner organisations from 4 countries United Kingdom, Germany Italy and Cyprus, in order to develop an Online Training Tool and Work Methodology to be used by adult educators and particularly by Trainers and Carers of vulnerable/disadvantaged adults facing obstacles such as disabilities and learning differences, vulnerable adults with social obstacles: low-skilled migrants, long-term unemployed, elderly in care. Trainers and carers can boost the impact of their work with the target communities and create digital champions, who can work within their communities to support their peers.

The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) is the voice of non-formal adult education in Europe. EAEA is a European NGO with 133 member organisations in 43 countries and represents more than 60 million learners Europe-wide.

EAEA promotes adult learning and access to and participation in non-formal adult education for all, particularly for groups currently under-represented.

Every year, the EAEA celebrates innovation and excellence in non-formal adult education. The annual EAEA Grundtvig Award collects examples of great practices and brings creative and out-of-the-box results that create change, new partnerships and connections, new methodologies, and an understanding of how we can work in adult learning.

EAEA Grundtvig Award 2020. Outreach and Access Those least likely to access adult education are often the ones that need it most. The EAEA Grundtvig Award 2020 celebrates initiatives that foster outreach and access approaches to adult education. Outreach and access programmes are helping learners from disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities, low-skilled learners, and migrants, to benefit from adult education. They also highlight the flexibility and diversity needed in the learning provision. Low-threshold access programmes not only develop the confidence of these adults, but they also provide them with skills or qualifications to develop their employability and careers. For many low-skilled adults, education is shrouded by stigma and discomfort. Reaching out to them is key in making learners’ groups more diverse and inclusive. Due to the nature of the annual theme, this year EAEA wanted to focus on programmes and long-term initiatives as opposed to short-term projects.

With the Award EAEA wanted: • To increase participation in adult learning by developing effective strategies for outreach • To raise awareness at the European level of successful projects relating to access and outreach for adult learning • To raise awareness of the importance of access and outreach in adult education • To raise awareness of the importance of learner-centred approaches in adult education • To inspire new projects relating to access and outreach in and with adult education The winner was announced on 2 October 2020,



Other Participants in the project ladies at the Cyprus training




Learning digital skills starts in communities Digital Champions for Community Success used a bottom-up approach and direct action in communities to help people to gain practical digital skills and to enhance their life chances. The initiative participated in EAEA Grundtvig Award 2020 on Outreach and Access.


What was the main purpose of the initiative?

“The primary purpose of the project was to encourage both formal and informal educators to create Community Digital Champions,” says Tanya Cook from the A1 Community Works. “The project created a methodology on how to engage learners at the end of a funded programme or learners in remote areas where financially supported projects never reach. Community Digital Champions are highly motivated volunteers, willing to invest their time to digitally empower people in their community. They are usually trained by professional educators as informal trainers, mentors, and coaches.

We live in a digital world, where governments, regional and local authorities want everyone to interact with them digitally. A lack of digital skills and access can “harm” any individual, resulting in poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy, increased loneliness, and social isolation, as well as reduced access to jobs and education. Additionally, it can lead to paying more for essential goods and services, financial exclusion, or an increased risk of falling into poverty. Digitally excluded people are at risk of being “forgotten” as they lack a voice and visibility in a world, where community leaders are swayed by social media and online petitions. Moreover, the impact of COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of these digital skills.”

How does your project foster the outreach and access approach?

“This project is about direct action in communities. It is a bottom-up approach to learning focused on helping people to gain practical digital skills to enhance their life chances and feelings of inclusion. It is not primarily about academic qualifications, although people who become digitally knowledgeable may decide to acquire formal qualifications.

Community is defined by people who, regardless of their backgrounds, have been able to accept and transcend their differences, enabling them to communicate effectively and openly and to work together toward goals identified as being for their common good. Refugees, long term unemployed people, people with disabilities or learning differences, homeless people, as well as those living in remote rural areas are some examples of communities.”

What was the best practice learned from this project that you would like to share?

“As an educator, you need to leave the classroom and go into the places where communities congregate.




We meet at Wetherspoon's Richmond

Thank to all the staff at the pub who look after everyone so well







The educator’s role is then to discover what the learner needs to do digitally and support them. After that, you can persuade them to expand their skills. Everything starts with individuals and their communities. Do not say that you will teach someone word when they want to know how to download a knitting pattern. Shown them how to download knitting patterns and then help them discover more. The Community Digital Champion’s role is to “boldly go where no trainer has gone before!” The goal is 100% digital inclusion.”

Digital Champions for Community Success

Category: National and Transnational initiatives

Coordinator: A1 Community Works

Country: United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Cyprus

Focus: Empowerment of under-represented adults through digital skills

Outreach and access approach: Online training tool and work methodology for adult educators of vulnerable groups

Resources: DigitalChampions.community website

the importance of these digital skills.”

How does your project foster the outreach and access approach?

“This project is about direct action in communities. It is a bottom-up approach to learning focused on helping people to gain practical digital skills to enhance their life chances and feelings of inclusion. It is not primarily about academic qualifications, although people who become digitally knowledgeable may decide to acquire formal qualifications.

Community is defined by people who, regardless of their backgrounds, have been able to accept and transcend their differences, enabling them to communicate effectively and openly and to work together toward goals identified as being for their common good. Refugees, long term unemployed people, people with disabilities or learning differences, homeless people, as well as those living in remote rural areas are some examples of communities.”

What was the best practice learned from this project that you would like to share?

“As an educator, you need to leave the classroom and go into the places where communities congregate. The educator’s role is then to discover what the learner needs to do digitally and support them. After that, you can persuade them to expand their skills. Everything starts with individuals and their communities. Do not say that you will teach someone word when they want to know how to download a knitting pattern. Shown them how to download knitting patterns and then help them discover more. The Community Digital Champion’s role is to “boldly go where no trainer has gone before!” The goal is 100% digital inclusion.”


We still found time to have ice cream

Our Italian friends don't do Gelato if sun is not out

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